Friday, 18 December 2015

Return to the Wastelands

WARNING: A lot of negativity and references to Stephen Kings "The Dark Tower" ahead. Continue at your own risk.

So once again I find myself back in little old Oakey. For those not in the know, Oakey is a tiny little shithole about 20-30 minutes west of Toowoomba, which is a big shithole.  To be fair, these areas are great for a visit...once...but honestly, I simply cannot muster any love for these areas. The people have a tendancy to be on the horrid side (mention "gay marriage" or "alcohol in moderation" and watch what happens) and the government has completely neglected the place. Religious bigotry, domestic violence, dole bludging, alcohol/drug abuse and a complete lack of facilities abounds around here and it makes me sick. It's definitely no place for a young forward-thinking young lady with mild autism and a thirst for constant growth.

However, I suppose I should list some of the positive things about the Wastelands (as I like to refer to them). If you ever get it into your head to venture west of Gatton, make sure you do it around September when the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is on, when the city of Lud (Toowoomba) is at her finest. Don't bother trying to go shopping however, Grand Central is shit and Clifford Gardens is shittier. Next, you should drive through the gorgeous countryside to Oakey briefly just to check out the Army Air Museum. Then head out to the Jondaryan Woolshed before a nice drive out to the Bunya Mountains (which is the nicest place out West) before never, EVER coming back. The only reason I return is to see my family, who are still out here for various reasons.

Every time I return to this place I feel icky, and only feel better once I see the Gabba and the Brisbane River. However, my Mumsie is awesome, and I love my grandparents dearly so it's worth the trip. Just don't expect me to mix with the locals - it's not like any of them would recognise me anyway.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Biggest Loser: Why I love the Jofres.

Before I go into this though, you're all going to go to Google for me. No questions, just go to Google. Now, type in "Chuckles and Giggles". That's right. My story is now the third entry down from the top on the FIRST PAGE if you don't mind! Plus, if you go to the Images tab, the first 3-4 pictures you see are the amazing artwork of one Thien Uncage. I did not pay one cent at all towards that placing, it's all totally organic and it means I might finally be getting somewhere (or not, I'm not sure how much "Chuckles and Giggles" gets Googled).

ANYWAY, on to this season of The Biggest Loser. Not that I was particularly fond of Fiona in season one, she was one of those annoying Red Teamers after all (I can still remember when Adro won, my family and I were so thrilled). To be honest, I haven't watched too many more seasons, mainly owing to the fact that I really don't have the attention span for television. But this year, I was drawn to three brothers who I relate to more than the other contestants (including their uncle Rob; it's not like I'm ever going to be a parent now is it? *sad face*), and those three are Pablo, Tony and Daniel Jofre.

I can easily sympathise with Pablo - it's a tough gig being the oldest, especially to siblings that seem to always be doing better than you (trust me, I know how you must feel when Tony wins everything in his path, I have a brother and two sisters who insist on doing the same thing to me). I admire his sensitivity and strength though, and what he's going through is a reminder to me that I'm the example to my siblings - sorry Pablo, we're the ones who can't afford to let ourselves go lest we drag our impressionable siblings down with us (and they never seem to stop being impressionable...).

Now on to Tony, IMO the hottie of this years contestants. At first I was angry at Tony, he'd been on his way to a pretty snazzy career as a PT and he threw it all away. Then I realised I was being a major hypocrite and cut the poor man some slack. When I was 24, I was also pretty much on top of the world - 62kgs, following my football team around the country, popular as you please. Of course, I got lazy. I didn't save money, I didn't look after my health (nothing like being a junk-food junkie) and I got arrogant with my mental health, thinking I was finally cured of autism and anxiety and that I'd never have to worry about it again. Well, didn't I find out the hard way that complacency kills. Tony at least has put in a major effort to get back to where he was, and I think it's about time I got off my arse and did the same.

It might just be my uncool big-sisterness coming out, but every time I see Daniel my protective instincts go into overdrive. He reminds me of my three younger siblings, so much potential that could go so wrong if they're not careful. I'm willing to bet both Pablo and Tony spoil him a bit, like I do to my baby sisters. Maybe I should curb that a bit...

Anyway, Team Jofre seems to be the team to hate this year, which sucks because all four of them are pretty awesome. My money is certainly on Tony to take it out. I guess it's time to quit stalling though, and take a look at myself. I've made some small starts (anyone fancy a 50km walk? Anyone? Hello? Hellooooooo?) with sticking to my writing, walking here, there and everywhere (I reckon 80% of my mental issues are solved by me walking it out. Maybe I'm not walking far enough to walk out the other 20%?) and taking up dancing (trust me, eventually I'll be writing a blog on West Coast Swing, but for now just trust me when I say it's awesome and you need to go and do it), but I really need to commit 100% to change. It's time to quit the junk food (cold turkey, apologies to my coworkers who will be suffering the wrath of my sugar-deprivation), it's time to start saving money (towards an overseas trip and maybe a train set of my own) and it's time to take my mental health a bit more seriously, which means more of those disgusting Rescue chews (UGH).

Go Team Jofre, and see you next blog (and read Chuckles and Giggles darn it!).